“Mentorship” Rather Than “Leadership” – A General Trend Today

– Office workers regard their boss at the office as their primary mentor, followed by their parents and globally renowned CEOs – Office workers feel the need to have mentoring when faced with an important decision or when feeling insecure about their future Mentor is derived from friend of Odysseus in Greek mythology by the …

– Office workers regard their boss at the office as their primary mentor, followed by their parents and globally renowned CEOs
– Office workers feel the need to have mentoring when faced with an important decision or when feeling insecure about their future

Mentor is derived from friend of Odysseus in Greek mythology by the same name. It means a person who shares life wisdom with others and is generous with words of encouragement and advice. In the past, ” leadership,” characterized by hard-edged logic and charisma, always came first when talking about the qualifications a leader needed to possess. However, a big trend being seen now is towards “mentorship,” defined by expressing sympathy and giving words of encouragement.

In other words, an increasing number of people want a mentor that pursues cooperation through a partnership-like relationship, rather than a leader who is in control in terms of a vertical relationship. Then, what kind of mentor is demanded at a workplace where the mentoring system is most actively used?

According to a survey conducted by a major company, office workers model the mentor as “a boss with life wisdom acquired from a wealth of experience.”

MOBIS used the company’s intranet to conduct a survey of employees on the question of, “what kind of mentor do you wish to have?” In the survey, which was conducted for 2 weeks through November 14, 586 employees took part.

Regarding the question of who is your mentor, most respondents answered that their boss at the work was their mentor (39%), followed by their parents (30%), famous persons such as globally renowned CEO (13%), great men in history (12%) and their former teachers during school days (6%).

32% of respondents answered the question about a time when they most needed a mentor as “when making an important decision.” 21% of them answered that it was “when feeling insecure about the future”. Many also answered that they wished to have the mentor “when feeling a lack of knowledge or knowhow (20%)” and “when wanting to open up and speak out (19%)”.

Plus, more than half of respondents (53%) answered that they are attracted to the mentor mostly by “their wisdom of life acquired from a wealth of experience” and each 13% answered that they are attracted to the mentor because “a sense of closeness, treating like a family” and “proper hierarchy of values established based on the morality”.

About the question of at which moment they were most grateful to their mentor, 30% of respondents answered “when the mentor trusts me” and equal shares of 22% answered “when the mentor gives sincere words of encouragement” and “when the mentor consistently motivates me”.

Likewise, the mentor that MOBIS employees wish to have is a person who is capable of leading at work based on his/her expertise in the field and someone who has integrity and a kind heart.

Meanwhile, MOBIS promotes an in-company mentoring program to help newcomers adapt easily to the organizational culture. That is, newcomers have a chance to learn knowhow in the company through working as an employee. Thus, they can get words of encouragement and advice from their seniors through various programs, such as the hundredth day after newcomers join the company, the Hope Day with executives, the watching of a play as a group, and a frank conversation with seniors at a Jjimjilbang (Korean dry sauna).

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